Callum Kerr @ Millbrae

This evening the Ayrshire Bulls opened their 2023 FOSROC Super Series Sprint account with a 29-12 victory over Glasgow Warriors A. The stars seemed to align at Millbrae with glorious sunshine and a packed-out crowd cheering on the home side. A relatively cagey and tight affair kept spectators on the edge of their seats before the Bulls pulled away in the final 15 minutes.


(Photo – Alan Graham)

The Warriors started bright with some early threats but a counter from the Bulls brought the opening score. From a turnover in the Bulls 22’ they hacked the ball up the park. Eli Caven blitzed past the tracking Warriors players to win the footrace and eventually regain possession over the line. Richie Simpson added the conversion before a penalty minutes later. After ten minutes of action they led by as many points.


It didn’t take long for the Warriors to turn their early threats into points. In their first attacking line-out Angus Fraser latched onto the back of a rolling maul and bulldozed his way over. Duncan Weir’s conversion slid wide.


The Bulls ended the half on the Warriors line but didn’t manage to convert it into a score.


Half-time: Ayrshire Bulls 10-5 Glasgow Warriors A


The Bulls extended their lead shortly after the interval. From a line-out, Bobby Beattie cut through the defence with an inward run. The Warriors’ scrambling defence managed to pull him back but a well-timed offload caught the charging Jamie Shedden in full flight. Simpson converted to make it 19-5.


The Warriors clawed back a score ten minutes later through Ben Salmon, and a touchline conversion from Duncan Weir thrusted them back into contention – the Bulls lead now cut to a single score.


Two tries within two minutes of each other – the first from Grant Stewart and the second Shedden’s brace – was the cushion the Bulls needed to see out the contest.


Stewart’s effort came from the silky hands of Chris Elliot. The centre gathered a pass in midfield whilst running at break-neck speed, before shipping it across his body to Stewart who split two defenders. A side-step followed by a photo finish at the line completed the move.


Shedden’s score was different. From inside their half the Bulls put the ball through the hands to catch him in open space. From then on nobody was catching him scorch down the line.


Full-time: Ayrshire Bulls 29-12 Glasgow Warriors A


Ryan Sweeney was unanimous FOSROC Player of the Match. It was the back-row’s return to the side after a year out due to injury and he rewarded Pat MacArthur’s faith with a trademark combative display across the field.